Strength

This has been an incredibly difficult week for my husband and I. Unfortunately we have witnessed the inexplicable passing of a beautiful  2 year old little girl. As relationships blossom through the years, friends become like family and their kids become a part of you…and to lose a child of a friend feels like a loss of your own.

Being privy to this event made me feel like I simply couldn’t post on my blog. I write about food. Healthy eating. Healthy lifestyle. At a time like this,I thought I had nothing to write about. But something changed. Yesterday we all united in Church to celebrate the life of this little girl. As I sat there listening to her mother and father speak I was blown away by their strength, their dignity, their courage during these tragic moments. They gave me peace. What????

The parents of this little girl, the people who are most affected by this event, are the ones offering me peace? It is because they have inner strength. They are spiritually and emotionally strong individually and as a couple.  THAT is something worth sharing.

The truth is that if you really break it down…we don’t know when our time will come to leave this Earth. Eating healthy does not guarantee the full ride. Regardless of your lifestyle, no one is immune from pain. People get sick, people have accidents, things happen… we all die.  We simply don’t know what cross we will bear. Some lives are more difficult than others. There is truth to the saying “when you think you’re going through the worst thing in the world, there is someone else who has it worse than you.”

So now that our dear friends have lost their little one as a result of a pool drowning… the community instinctively draws their loved ones near. You hear cautious voices…”put the floaties on your kids,” “you can’t lose sight on the kids for a minute,” “we have to be so careful” and it doesn’t end there…people want to protect their children and grandchildren so much that after a loss like this one you almost want to err on the side of ridiculous just to be safe. But the truth is that even with the extra precautions, with the fear, with the hope of protecting your loved ones, accidents will continue to happen. Life will continue to happen. Fear of life will not save you. And the only thing we can do is to have spiritual and emotional strength….like my dear friends have…to deal with the pain.

It is that strength that you need to enjoy the good times when you have them, and bear with the bad times when they arrive.

I can’t imagine going through what my friends are going through. I can’t imagine dealing with their pain, especially considering how hard this has been for me. But I have learned from them. I have seen their faith and I am confident they will get through this and feel happiness again. I have a true admiration for them and their family.

So for today my friends, I propose that if you want to be healthy, begin from within. In order for a healthy diet to mean anything at all, your mind and your soul needs to be healthy also. Seek inner health. It doesn’t really matter what your belief system is, but have a belief system of your own and nourish it. Laugh, listen to music, focus on happy thoughts. Be good to yourself. Value your self and your being. Surround yourself with people that make you better. Be grateful. Be good to others. Meditate. Pray. Breathe.

Never stop sharpening your spiritual and emotional being…because only then will you achieve true health.

School lunch – Take one!!!!

Hello everyone.

As I’ve shared in previous posts, school lunches have been challenging for me. For one thing, I have great eaters that become picky eaters when school comes around. Often times, my lunchboxes come home untouched. I’m not too concerned with my kids not eating lunch…after all, I don’t think they’ll starve to death. But it does annoy me that I put time and effort into making them lunch only for them to reject it. I also feel kind of guilty thinking they are staring down some other kid’s lunch thinking…I want that, why does my mom give me this!

Last week I spoke to the kids all week about lunch, (mainly my older one but my little one chimes in every once in a while). Every time we ate something, I would ask them “is this something you’d like to eat for lunch at school?”  I got No’s on almost all soups and meals involving veggies. It has boiled down to pasta and sandwiches. I bought a cute book at pottery barn kids a while ago with lunch ideas and pictures. I’ve been showing the book to the boys and asking them to show me pics of the foods they’re interested in for lunch.  It may seem silly that I’m giving my almost 3 and 5 year olds so much of a say in this process, but I feel its somewhat similar to cooking with the kids. I have found that the more involved they are in the process the more inclined they are in trying new things and eating well.

On Sunday we did a grocery list and they made specific requests like mandarin oranges, and raisins…and then Orly said he wanted a chocolate in his lunchbox and I said okay…and when he realized I was cool with it, he raised the stakes and said…no mommy, I don’t want a chocolate…I want a lollipop.

I took that opportunity to make a little pact with him… I said “Ok Orly, I’ll put some fun stuff in your lunchbox such as a lollipop, but you have to promise to eat the other foods I put in your lunchbox also…do we have a deal?” He agreed.  I got him these lollipops because I like the ingredients as an alternative to regular lollipops and my kids like them.

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So here’s the report:

I did a mini trial run. Over the weekend I made a couple of different sandwiches/wraps that I wanted to see if they’d like.

Specifically I did:

AVOCADO/PEAR SANDWICH

So easy.

  • 1 slice of ezekiel bread
  • spread avocado
  • place slices of pear on top

Interesting note: I thought it was so good, but Orly didn’t like it. It occurred to me to put the avocado and pear on top of an ancient grain cracker. He didn’t want to try it but I made him and he really liked it. So I guess he just didn’t like the combo on bread…he preferred it on a cracker. Yay for lunch!


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HUMMUS WRAP

  • 1 small ezekiel tortilla
  • spread avocado on tortilla
  • spread hummus on tortilla
  • chop red, yellow and orange peppers into small pieces
  • raisins

I was pleasantly surprised that the boys liked this wrap. I was not expecting them to like it at all!!!!  Now let’s see if it comes home from school eaten or untouched.

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TUNA SANDWICH

  • tuna
  • mayonnaise
  • dijon mustard
  • slices of apple
  • raisins
  • chopped celery
  • squeezed lemon

I mixed it all together to make a nice tuna salad and then I put it inside a butter lettuce leaf and then inside a mini pita pocket. I forgot, however, to take a picture of it!!!!! I will definitely post a pic the next time I make it.

The pita pocket actually made the boys’ first actual lunch at school!!! They really liked it.

Note: Orlando made homemade mayonnaise. We had a couple of trial runs because he was using peanut oil as a healthier alternative and it just didn’t work out. Then he made a batch with olive oil that was edible but not fantastic…when we perfect it we’ll post the recipe!

I put a side of mandarin oranges and as promised…their lollipop! It was a success!!!

What are you all putting in your kids’ lunchboxes??? We need lots of ideas!

 

 

 

 

Back to School, Back to Blog

I sat down in front of my computer this morning determined to start blogging again. It almost feels like getting together with an old friend where you are kind of nervous that you will have nothing in common anymore…but at the same time you have so much to say that you don’t know where to begin. I confess I even went back to my very first blog, (Why this Journey Began), which was from almost a year ago, to read it again and reconnect with my purpose.

So much has been going on in our lives. Running a home with 2 toddlers and a baby and both parents working is a lot to handle. It is easy to go on autopilot simply to survive. At some point I started feeling like I had nothing to write about because to be quite honest we’ve established certain recipes in our lives and it feels like we do a lot of the same most of the time. But after reading my very first post this morning, I realized that I did not create this blog only to post recipes. After all, if you want to find a healthy recipe of any kind you can put in a google search and get hundreds of them in seconds. I created this blog to share ideas and experiences and offer options on changing your lifestyle….along with delicious recipes that we’ve found in our journey.

I had almost forgotten in the robotic state that I had entered, that lifestyle has much more to do with changing your thoughts about food and eating than it does with the actual recipes. So here we are again, summer is ending and routines are picking up again…everyone is trying to reestablish sleep schedules for their children, buying uniforms and backpacks, and gathering the materials necessary to begin another year of school. Even for those that aren’t parents, everyone knows traffic is about to get worse and the relax ambiance of summer is almost over. The month of August in many ways is similar to December and getting ready for the actual New Year.

So I’m feeling that way about my blog. I have so much to share. From what’s been going on with the baby and his weight gain, our Sarasota vacation, school lunches for the boys, the eating psychology conference I attended….the list goes on and on. I’m so excited about it that I want to plop down in front of this computer and just spit everything out. But that would make for an extremely long and confusing post!!!

So for today, I just want to share that I’ve regrouped and reenergized and am ready to blog again.

And because its Sunday and for some of us this is the last week before school starts I wanted to make some recommendations.

TAKE SOME TIME TO PLAN – we all know that to eat healthy we need some level of planning.  Do your groceries, think about your breakfasts, lunches and dinners this week. Pre-cut vegetables and fruits for your smoothies if you know you won’t do it in the morning. Even if planning means thinking about what foods you want to eat this week, it’ll put you in a driver’s seat state of mind.

STOCK UP – Go to the grocery store. Stock up on healthy foods that you know you and your family enjoy.

TRIAL RUN- This is something I intend to do this week. I put Orly in a gymnastics camp for one week this summer and some days he came home with his lunch untouched. I didn’t understand and he told me that there are foods that he and I quote….”likes to eat at home but doesn’t like to eat for lunch.” Not sure what this is about. Maybe he doesn’t like his lunches to look different than the other kids. Maybe he doesn’t like the food because its been sitting out too long. Who knows. So since I believe he deserves a say in what he eats and I want him to enjoy eating healthy….I am dedicating myself this week to doing a trial run of different “lunch” appropriate foods. That way he can say yay or nay and give me an idea what’s going to work for him this year. I’ll keep you posted on how this works.

COMMIT TO ONE CHANGE– Its hard to live a perfectly healthy, balanced life. Some of us eat better than others, some of us exercise more than others, some of us are more spiritual than others. The point is that we can all stand to improve. And we should never be totally complacent in our current situation. So try to make one change this week. Maybe start exercising, maybe commit to one healthy meal every day this week (lunch, breakfast or dinner), maybe you can commit to taking 10 minutes during the day to take deep breaths this week. Whatever you do, make one change (no matter how small) that you think will make a positive impact in your life if you adopt permanently.

Hope these suggestions help you get in the frame of mind for a healthy, powerful, energized week. I’m excited!!!!

Happy Sunday!